MLA who became CM with just Rs. 13,699!
Shimla, April 23
In a recent report published about the 2022 Himachal Pradesh Assembly, it was revealed that a member made his journey to the chief minister’s office by spending only Rs. 13,699 from his own pocket. The report analyzed self-declared affidavits of 66 members of the present Himachal Pradesh Assembly, which was released by election watchdog ADR on Saturday.
INC MLA Sukhvinder Singh, who was elected on a Congress ticket from Nadaun Assembly, declared that his election expenditure was Rs. 11,25,554, out of which Rs. 13,699 came from his own pocket or election agent, Rs. 9,81,995 came from the political party, and Rs. 1,29,860 came from loans and donations. Despite being able to spend up to Rs. 40 lakhs, he saved 72% (Rs. 28,74,446) and, being a four-time MLA, was elected Legislative Party leader by the party and became the Chief Minister.
The election statements of two BJP MLAs – M Bikram Singh from Jaswan Pragpur and Puran Chand from Darang – had not been uploaded at the time of analysis.
The three top MLAs who declared the highest election expenses were BJP MLA from Chopal Balbir Singh Verma, who incurred an amount of Rs. 36,92,821 (92%), followed by Vipin Singh Parmar (Sullah BJP) with Rs. 36,36,912 (91%) and Jai Ram Thakur (Seraj BJP) with Rs. 35,34,033 (88%).
The three MLAs who declared the lowest election expenses were Sukhvinder Singh (Nadaun-INC) with Rs. 11,25,554 (28%), Neeraj Nayar (Chamba INC) with Rs. 12,07,146 (30%), and Davinder Kumar (Kutlehar INC) with Rs. 14,47,643 (36%).
According to the report, out of the 66 self-declared affidavits of elected MLAs, 15 (23%) MLAs declared election expenses less than 50% of the expense limit in their constituency.
The average amount of money spent by the 66 MLAs in the elections was Rs. 24.88 lakhs, which is 62% of the expense limit.
The party-wise average election expenses show that the average spending for 23 BJP MLAs is Rs. 28.89 lakhs (72.2%). For 40 INC MLAs, the average election expenditure is Rs. 22.87 lakhs (57.2% of the expense limit), and 3 independent MLAs have spent Rs. 20.87 lakhs (52.2% of the expense limit).
Out of the 66 MLAs analyzed, 51 (77%) MLAs declared that they spent funds on public meetings, processions, etc., with star campaigners (other than those for general party propaganda).
Fifteen (23%) MLAs declared that they did not spend any funds on public meetings, processions, etc., with star campaigners (other than those for general party propaganda).
All 64 (97%) MLAs declared that they spent funds on public meetings, processions, etc., without star campaigners (other than the ones with star campaigners of the political party).
Two (3%) MLAs declared that they did not spend any funds on public meetings, processions, etc., without star campaigners (other than the ones with star campaigners of the political party).
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